Daily Mail

Billionaire eBay founder gives nearly $2M to defund police - while funding private security apps

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 27.05.2023 09:32:02 Noa Halff For Dailymail.Com

The billionaire founder of eBay has donated nearly $2 million to defund the police - while also making a substantial contribution to a private security startup dubbed  'Uber for bodyguards.' 

Pierre Omidyar gave $500,000 through his philanthropic entity, the Omidyar Network, to organizations that protested against the death of George Floyd in 2020. 

Omidyar Network gave $100,000 to Equity and Transformation, a local group that partnered with Movement for Black Lives to help 'defund police.' 

Two other organizations affiliated with the Omidyar Network, PolicyLink and Democracy Fund, received a substantial sum of $1.3 million, according to Independent journalist Lee Fang who uncovered these financial transactions. 

This funding was allocated to support the creation of DefundPolice.org, an online platform utilized by advocates to defund or abolish police. 

The Movement for Black Lives recently expressed their stance on police defunding, stating unequivocally, 'When we say 'defund and abolish the police,' we mean exactly that.' These words reinforce the organization's commitment to their cause. 





Meanwhile, Omidyar has invested in start-ups that specialize in monetizing the growing demand for private security, according to Fang. 

One of those investments is Bond, an app that provides licensed bodyguards instantly. The app is described as a way for customer to order a bodyguard as easily as takeout dinner, according to founder and former Special Forces for the Israeli Defense Forces Doron Kempel. 

Bond, a personal security platform available for iOS and Android, allows users to hire their very own bodyguards to escort them to meetings, walk them home, or even get them safely from one bar to another during a wild night out. 

The app also offers location tracking, video monitoring, and agents who will notify the authorities and an emergency contact if needed

The company, founded in 2017, raised $72 million in funding, including investments from Omidyar, according to the New York Post. 

The 'Uber for bodyguards' app has explicitly pitched itself as a 'service that stands to gain from concerns around deteriorating public safety,' said Fang. 

The app advertises: 'In most situations where you, loved ones or employees feel uncomfortable or unsafe - it is too early to dial 911 since it is not yet an emergency, but you still want a professional by your side. Then, it could be too late to complete a 911 call because you are unable. Bond Security Agents are by your side 24/7 to proactively monitor and intervene before it is an emergency.' 

Omidyar has also invested in Deep Sentinel, an AI-powered security camera system that is used to identify intruders, according to Fang.

Both the Bond app and Deep Sentinel have used surging crime and the Defund the Police moment as a way to advertise their apps. 

The founder of the renowned e-commerce platform has a reported net worth of $8.91 billion, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index. 

Omidyar's Nevada mega estate boasts a whopping 75,000 square feet of living space with 11 bedrooms, 35 bathrooms, indoor racquetball court, indoor endless, pool, indoor rock climbing wall.

According to Forbes magazine, as of 2023, he is the 220th richest person in the world. Omidyar owns stakes in resort properties in California and Mexico and is developing real estate in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

He's also the founder of First Look Media, the parent company of online news site The Intercept and the entertainment company Topic Studios. 

Forbes named Omidyar as one of the most 25 generous people in the United States this year. He has provided thousands of Kenyans with free Income for 12 Years and gave $50 million to the Honolulu-based Hawaii Community Foundation.

He also financially backed Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen who claims firm puts 'profits before people'. 

Dailymail.com has approached Omidyar Network for comment. 

samedi 27 mai 2023 12:32:02 Categories: Daily Mail

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